THE House Committee on Appropriations has approved a move to subpoena Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, again for snubbing the committee’s repeated invitations.
With the subpoena, Diokno is expected to appear on Friday at the continuation of the probe into alleged budget insertions and questionable flood control projects given to a favored province and municipalities.
A dismayed Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., chairman of the committee, said Diokno has already snubbed the panel five times and also failed to satisfy the solons with his explanation of his absence.
Previously, a show-cause order was issued by the committee for Diokno to explain why he should not be cited in contempt for refusing to attend the hearing on his alleged manipulation of the budget allocation.
It was Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso who moved to issue a subpoena against Diokno.
In his letter to the panel responding to the show-cause order, Diokno said he had already “sufficiently” answered the queries of the lawmakers regarding insertions in the proposed 2019 national budget when he attended the Question Hour last December 2018.
Diokno said he attended the Question Hour to show his “utmost respect” to the institution.
But Andaya did not accept Diokno’s excuse insisting he did not sufficiently answer the questions of the solons.
“I know you’re listening, Mr. Diokno. The documents you promised to us never arrived. So you never satisfactorily answered anything,” Andaya said.
Diokno was accused of inserting at least P75 billion infrastructure funds in the 2019 budget of which some P14 billion was allocated to Sorsogon, particularly for the municipality of Casiguran.
The mayor of Casiguran is the father-in-law of Diokno’s daughter.